Society for the Conservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of Domestic Animals

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Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Breeds of
Domestic Animals (GEH)
purpose Promote the conservation of ancient domestic breeds
Chair: Karl-Heinrich Göpel
Manager: Antje Feldmann
Establishment date: 1981
Number of members: 2,200 (as of 2019)
Seat : 37213 Witzenhausen , Walburger Str. 2

The Society for the Preservation of Old and Endangered Pet Races ( GEH ) is an association founded on December 5, 1981 with its headquarters in Witzenhausen , Hesse - location of agricultural sciences at the University of Kassel - with the goal of preserving old domestic animal breeds .


In the preamble to the articles of association, the company described its goals:

Over the millennia, humans have learned to make a living better and better even under less favorable and even adverse environmental conditions. Domestic animals were essential for this enormous success, which made the development of civilization and high cultures possible in the first place. They not only provided people with food, warmth and fertilizer, with materials for tools and weapons, they served them with their labor and were also often faithful companions. In a specialized modern world, however, there is little space today for all the many domestic animal breeds that have been adapted to their special environmental conditions and that have developed over very long periods of time and will continue to be of great importance for sustainable and animal welfare agriculture in the future. Preserving the genetic potential of the ancient domestic animal breeds, the impressive diversity of characteristics, characters and beauty for posterity is not only an obligation under the international law "Convention on Biological Diversity of June 5, 1992", it should be a concern of every cultural society be.

The main tasks are:

  • Preservation of old, traditional farm animal breeds . The focus is on the preservation of life,
  • Raising public awareness of endangered livestock breeds,
  • Description of the current characteristics and performance of the domestic animal breeds ,
  • Highlighting the cultural and historical value,
  • Highlighting the regional characteristics of domestic domestic animal breeds,
  • Integration of the domestic animal breeds in the official herdbook breeding ,
  • Cooperation with the administration in the field of animal breeding ,
  • Participation in political projects on animal genetic resources ,
  • International cooperation for the conservation of animal genetic resources.

The Chairman and the Managing Director of the Company acting in the Committee on Animal Genetic Resources of the German Society for Züchtungskunde with

The motto is “Preservation through use”, ie the endangered domestic animal breeds should retain a cultural, economic and social value through suitable forms of use.


The currently (2019) around 2200 members come from a broad spectrum of farmers , part-time farmers , hobbyists, agricultural scientists , veterinarians and interested parties with or without their own animal husbandry . An honorary member is Hans Hinrich Sambraus , one of the founders of the society , who has published standard works on old domestic animal breeds. There are 23 regional groups within the GEH, some of which have a website.

The board of directors with five members and the employees of the office in Witzenhausen under the direction of the managing director Antje Feldmann work on and supervise internal and publicly funded projects in connection with endangered livestock breeds. The main topics here are the networking of breeding, further development opportunities and the promotion of traditional and opening up new uses for endangered livestock breeds . By participating in trade fairs, events and animal exhibitions, with press releases and information material, the public is made aware of the problem of endangered domestic animal breeds and their conservation. An exchange of information and a coordination of breeders of endangered breeds is organized by volunteer members, also across national borders. The members are offered workshops, excursions, literature collections and other information opportunities.

Breed of the year

Since 1984 the GEH has proclaimed the "Endangered Livestock Breed of the Year". This selection is intended to draw attention to the situation of loss of diversity in the agricultural environment as an example.

Ark project

In 1995, the GEH launched the “Arche-Hof” project. Members' businesses can be given the protected designation “Arche-Höfe” by the GEH if they breed endangered domestic animal breeds and meet the criteria set by the GEH. There are currently around 100 Arche farms across Germany. The definition of criteria for the recognition of Arche regions, Arche villages and Arche parks was based on the Arche farm project and focuses in particular on public relations work on the subject of endangered domestic animal breeds. Deserved breeders of endangered breeds are recognized by the GEH as "Ark Breeders".

Ark Nova magazine

The association publishes the members' magazine “Arche Nova” four times a year, which is not just a forum for members, but also illuminates numerous aspects of the problem of endangered livestock breeds in specialist articles. For the members, the subscription to this magazine is included in the contribution.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Arche Nova , magazine of the clubs and associations for the conservation of endangered domestic animal breeds, 1/2019, p. 3
  2. a b Board on the GEH website , accessed on April 1, 2019
  3. Goals and tasks. Society for the preservation of old and endangered domestic animal breeds e. V., accessed April 1, 2019 .
  4. a b GEH statutes , accessed on April 22, 2019
  5. Overview at , accessed on April 1, 2019
  6. Statement by the Arche-Hof Bode in Schwanewede , accessed on April 3, 2019
  7. Arche Nova, magazine of the clubs and associations for the conservation of endangered domestic animal breeds, 1/2019, p. 2
  8. ^ Ark North-West of the North-West Regional Group .
  9. office , accessed on April 1, 2019
  10. Description on , accessed on April 1, 2019
  11. Criteria catalog on the GEH website , accessed on April 22, 2019
  12. Description at , accessed on April 1, 2019
  13. Presentation at , accessed on April 1, 2019